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Posted by Percy A Lowe on March 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM

We get quite a bit of email asking about the differences between these two categories of credit cards so I decided to write a short article to explain the basics of each category. Each of these cards will require funds to be deposited in advance before using them, so what's the difference? The truth is there are some distinct differences that may work better for people from different walks of life. I have listed these differences below.

Prepaid Debit Cards - Prepaid debit cards are a descendant of the secured credit cards that you are probably familiar with. Prepaid debit cards are just that, debit cards that have the Mastercard or Visa logo on them and are accepted worldwide. Much like your bank debit cards they deplete funds in your account as you use them, they do not require monthly payments and do not charge interest.

The major difference is how you qualify for one and how much it cost to use the card. Prepaid debit cards are not concerned with having card holders qualify for their cards. Most issuers do not verify employment, credit, addresses or even legal residency. This makes these types of cards very popular with immigrant workers in the United States illegally.

Debit cards are also more fee intensive than traditional secured credit cards. They have fees that are usually measured by transaction. Other fees include, loading fees, transfer fees, check deposit fees, annual fees and more. This is the price people have pay for convenience and anonymity. These cards will not report cardholder transactions to the credit bureaus, which is not ideal for those who are trying to establish credit.

In our society it is virtually impossible to live without some type of visa or Mastercard, debit cards fill this void. They offer a "de facto" banking system for those unable to qualify normally. They offer direct deposits for paychecks and many other features to a segment of society that traditional banks have left out in the cold. All in all, prepaid debit cards are pretty cool for some people.


Categories: Building Credit Score

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